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The Mattress: History and Evolution

Last updated 6 years ago

Today, you can find mattresses like the Tempur-Pedic that actually conform to your body. The mattress has taken thousands of years to evolve into what it is today, though. Take a brief journey through the history of the mattress to find out how it all started and how this indispensable piece of furniture managed to improve so much:

The First Beds Neolithic men and women most likely slept on beds created from leaves, grass, and straw covered by animal skin. They quickly realized that they had to raise their sleeping surfaces off of the ground to escape dirt, uncomfortable drafts, and insects. By 3600 B.C., the Persians filled goatskins with water, and the Egyptians slept on piles of palm boughs 200 years later. The Romans had upgraded their mattresses to cloth bags stuffed with reeds and wool by 200 B.C.

Big Changes to the Mattress The Renaissance brought changes to art, literature, and the way people slept. People in the 15th century used beds that were made from pea shucks or other materials like straw that they then placed inside of velvet. By the 16th and 17th centuries, sleepers used straw or down mattresses placed on top of rope. Eventually, wool and cotton were the materials of choice for the interior of a mattress.

Important Improvements The box spring was invented in the late 19th century, which was designed to absorb shock and distribute weight. This extended the life of a mattress. Latex mattresses came into the market in 1926, and then air mattresses sprouted up in the 1940s. In the 1970s, NASA discovered a material that would eventually become memory foam. All of these additions have been hugely instrumental to the design of today’s mattresses and the industry has only improved since then.

Come in to St. Louis’ Mattress Direct to see how technology has improved mattresses. With our selection, you can find a bed that works perfectly for you. Call (314) 549-8496 to start shopping for your new mattress.


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